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Old 06-15-2007, 22:22   #1 (permalink)
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2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

When I bought my 01 GT it had about 30K miles on it and a little bit of a throw-out bearing chirp and the clutch pedal would vibrate and shake, violently at times. I held my foot against it to keep it from rattling. Finally the throw-out bearing got to the point where I decided I'd best get it replaced. My mechanic put in a new throw-out bearing, clutch and pressure plate and re-surfaced the flywheel. I drove off and it was sweet. 10 minutes down the road the damn clutch peddle started to vibrate. Damn! We ended up changing the stock cable and clutch pawl (sp?) for a BBK clutch cable kit. All was well until about three months later when the throw-out bearing started to squeal once again. The clutch was chattering and slipping, at take-off, as well.

This time I went to a transmission shop where they did a complete replacement once again, including the arm that the throw-out bearing rides on and I had them install a firewall adjuster. I left the transmission shop the next day in exsticy! I got back to my office pulled into the parking lot and couldn't get it into gear. I went back to the transmission and they built a bushing at the firewall and off I went again. This time after a couple of days the clutch was chattering and slipping and I couldn't adjust it at the firewall. GRRRR! Back I went, they replaced the whole clutch cable with a new BBK cable and told me to come get it. This time the clutch was engaging at the end of the peddle travel and I still had the chatter and slipping problem. I went back for the fourth time and they built a stop for the cable on the peddle mechanism so that the clutch was engaging much sooner. This made things much better, but after a couple of days the chattering and slipping were back. I went back again and they did another complete clutch replacement. For the first week everything was smooth and perfect, the I felt a slight chatter on take off. After two weeks I had to adjust the cable a little to stop it from chattering and slipping on take-off. Now every two weeks I have to adjust the cable and the chatter is getting worse once again. It's very annoying! It doesn't want to hold on an incline and will chatter and lurch on take off. Sometimes I feel it slipping on take-off.

I drive my car pretty darn easy and take very good care of it. It is in "like new condition" as new an 01 can be...it is in excellent condition except for the damn clutch.

The flywheel has been resurfaced every time, but it has never been replaced. Is it possible that the flywheel is the culprit? Help!
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:29   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

From what you describe, the flywheel could be cracked or out of balance. I've seen them crack close to the welding points that join it to the ring gear but I've never seen this happen on a Mustang. What I've seen happen is the pilot or spigot bearing collapse, causing the input shat to vibrate. Or the input shaft having excessive freeplay inside the gearbox, and this last one only when people abuse the car (engine mods, driving like wankers, etc). What I don't understand is how you can have a transmission shop look at your car 4 or 5 times and not pick anything up...maybe you should take your car somewhere else ?
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:06   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

I agree with your last comment whole heartedly. I recently went to talk to a Mustang shop about this on-going problem and (obviously) they would have to get into it to be able to do any type of diagnostics. I am going to talk to the transmission shop to see how they want to handle it. I am stuck between a rock and a hard spot, if I go elsewhere I'll be starting all over, spending another $600 -$800 for a whole new clutch job. The transmission shop has been very good at not charging me for all the extra work they've done.

I am convinced that the problem lies in the installation of clutch cable kit for the following reasons:

The clutch works as it should when adjusted properly. Right now I have to adjust the firewall adjuster every week or two to keep it from slipping and chattering. Also the problem only occurs only on take-off from a stop or near stop, it doesn't want to hold on a hill and slips and chatters when warm.

They have no threads to adjust the cable at the clutch fork; they barely got the nut on it, I was told.

They had to fashion some kind of a stop on the pedal to keep it from being able to swing up toward the driver; they were concerned that if my foot slipped off the pedal the cable would come off.

The stop also allowed them to be able to get the clutch to disengage at the beginning of the clutch pedal travel (closer to the floor) and not at the end of the pedal travel.

The clutch is disengaging late, in my opion, this does not allow for a smooth transition and causes chatter and the slipping. Is it possible for the clutch to not disengage completely, if the cable is too short?

On the other hand the flywheel is the only part that has not been replaced.

I really appreciate your input. I've asked technical questions at Mustang Forums and all you get is dumb ass replies from ignorant kids barely old enough to drive.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:12   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

One more comment, the transmission shop was recommended to me by my usual mechanic. I have to give them an A for effort but a D for their trouble shooting capabilities. I also have to imagine that there is probably a general lack of knowledge, on their part, working on cars that are this new. They are probably more in tune to automatic transmissions...if need be I'll be going elsewhere. I wish I had a lift and could see to do it myself. I have much less grief whenever I do things myself!
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Old 06-23-2007, 14:55   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

This sounds incredible that you have had 2 different shops and 2 full clutch kits yet you still have a problem.

There must be another problem in there causing this to happen.

There is one thing I will say is that you should not make your car hold on a hill using the clutch if you are simply slipping it and the car is stationary. This will wear it very quickly. You should use the handbrake and when you are ready to go, release and take off. Perhaps I am reading you wrong on that but I thought I would mention it just in case.

I'm struggling to think what else may cause your problems. It sounds like you have had the clutch fork, release bearing ,pressure plate, clutch plate and cable/pawl replaced which is almost everything there is.

There is a small bearing in the back of the crankshaft (Spigot bearing) that locates the transmission input shaft that may be worth looking at if not already replaced.

Other than that I can only wonder if there has been a mismatch of parts somewhere perhaps even from new. Do you know if the previous owner had any clutch problems.

To get 2 faulty replacement clutches seems a bit unlucky but that is another possibility I guess.

What exactly did they find wrong with the first replacement clutch unit when it was pulled?.
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Old 06-23-2007, 18:31   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

The first clutch replacement was done due to the throw-out bearing plus the pedal vibrating and shaking pretty violently at times. The pedal shake is why we went to a new cable system. After a couple of months the throw-out bearing started to squeel again and after about a total of a year it was time to replace it again. It was also chattering and slipping. Hence the second clutch replacement. I do have to say that there has been a slight vibration upon downshifting after the first replacement that worried me, but other than that it functioned fine.

After the second complete replacement, I had them install a firewall adjuster so that I didn't have to pay $70.00 each time I needed it adjusted. The only thing that has not been replaced to my knowledge is the flywheel. The problem is only noticed upon taking off from a stop or near stop it does not occur between gears nor is there a problem downshifting.

I do not try to hold it on a hill, with the clutch , but it should hold momentarily before the clutch has disengaged and not slip or chatter. And indeed it does when the adjustment is correct.
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Old 06-23-2007, 22:06   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

Hi mate
I've been doing some thinking and just remembered a similar problem I had with a gearbox, that turned out to be the pivot point where the fork sits being loose from the bell housing. This meant that to stop the clutch from shuddering you had to over-adjust the cable (to keep tension on the fork) which would in turn cause the clutch to slip. If you adjusted the cable properly the vibration would come back. You could check this by backing off the adjustment on the clutch cable and seing if the whole fork moves and not just pivots on the opposite side of the cable. I've attached a little pic to make it easier for you. I think it's worth having a look. That, along with the input shaft, flywheel and the pilot or spigot bearing that we mentioned earlier, which if memory serves has a very weak housing and sometimes the little roller bearings fall off, specially if it's hit with the input shaft when putting the gearbox back in. And if you think you can do it yourself go for it. Hope this helps
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Old 06-23-2007, 22:47   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

I'll pass your thoughts on to the tranny guys. I can't get my car off the ground far enough to get under it let alone be able to see what's going on. I appreciate the input!

There is another symptom that I keep forgetting about, because most of the time I don't use the AC. When I run my AC there's a rattling sound, almost like a diesel. When I push the clutch pedal in, it stops. I don't like to run the AC, but at 4,600+ feet in elevation its hot here in Northern Nevada in the Summer
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Old 06-24-2007, 14:31   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Mustang GT Clutch Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alby
I'll pass your thoughts on to the tranny guys. I can't get my car off the ground far enough to get under it let alone be able to see what's going on. I appreciate the input!

There is another symptom that I keep forgetting about, because most of the time I don't use the AC. When I run my AC there's a rattling sound, almost like a diesel. When I push the clutch pedal in, it stops. I don't like to run the AC, but at 4,600+ feet in elevation its hot here in Northern Nevada in the Summer
Hmm thats a bit of a worry. The A/C unit is not physically connected to the clutch but is run via belt off the front pulley so is indirectly connected via the flywheel/cranksahft. Maybe there is some crankshaft end float or the harmonic ballancer on the front of the crankshaft may be loose.
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